Saturday, July 18, 2009

The web that unites us all...

Selection of recent art cards (ACEOs) I've finished.

Over the past few weeks, I've been doing several shows and have been so busy in between that I've barely had time to get online, let alone blog about it. I have custom orders to finish, new ideas to find time to create, new stores wanting to carry by work, and charities asking for donations of my art. Time keeps flying by as I try to find a way to juggle everything without letting anything drop. I've barely had time to try to get everything done, let alone take time to stop and wonder at the marvel of it all. Throughout all of this, I've been frequently reminded of just how much the virtual world unites us all and provides us with common ground in the real world. I've even been able to meet several people in person who I'd only previously chatted with on Etsy forums, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

A customer at my table at McCarren Park

I was fortunate enough to exhibit and sell my work in McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY the end of June as part of the ongoing Artists & Fleas shows. I absolutely fell in love with the neighborhood and the high creative vibe there. At times, if you listen closely, you can even hear the artistic buzz in the wind. My work was very well received, numerous customers provided me with tips about places I could sell my work, and I met many amazing people. Most of my fellow artistans also sell their work on Etsy and many of my customers saw my work and recognized it from Etsy. The fact that we were all selling or shopping on Etsy along with the fact that we were all in the same park on the same gorgeous Saturday brought us together, if only for a moment. I even had two different customers take my picture because they wanted a record of the artist they'd purchased from. How cool is that? At the end of the day there was a flash rain storm followed by an amazingly beautiful rainbow over Brooklyn. All over the area, everyone was out, taking pictures with whatever camera they had in hand, many of them cell phones. Later, a group developed on Flickr to capture all of these gorgeous shots from different perspectives all over the neighborhood. The event was even featured on the Flickr blog and one of my rainbow photos was the 3rd down in the series of photos linked to the feature.

Watching the crowd at South Side Works during a rare, quiet moment.

Last weekend I spent three glorious days at the South Side Works Exposed Festival, in my tent, at the artists market. I shared a tent with fellow Etsy Pittsburgh team members Lz & EJ and our immediate neighbors were friends and team members as well. Once again, I got to meet many wonderful people and have numerous people tell me how much they like my work. Sales were great as well which always makes for an even better weekend. It was so busy I barely got a chance to leave my tent and didn't get to see the majority of other artists that were there, but I can't complain. As problems go, that's not a bad problem to have. I even got to see Elvis, when he made an appearance at the festival. After an amazing weekend, imagine my surprise and delight when I visited the Looking Sharp! blog by a new PCC blog contributor and discovered a photo taken at my table (hint: look for the picture of the camera necklace with the framed fairy flapper collage in the foreground). Sarah, the author of the blog, is one of the many amazing people I'd met over the weekend and is further proof of how the web unites us. This is also a vivid reminder of why I'm glad I embrace one of my personal philosophies -- always treat others kindly and with respect because you never know what kind of connections you might make and everyone is somebody important.
Elvis performing on Sunday morning at South Side Works.

Last night I exhibited and sold my work at Northside Urban Pathways School as part of the ongoing gallery crawl in downtown Pittsburgh. Sales weren't as great as they had been at the last gallery crawl in October, but summer shows are always slower. Plus, it rained off and on over the course of the evening which cut down on crowds. Still, I met many interesting people and got to see a few friends as well as repeat customers. Despite slightly slower sales, I gave out business cards and got a few tips for local stores that might be willing to sell my work. I always greatly appreciate all my customers and am especially grateful when I have customers suggest I call a specific boutique and tell me who to ask for and give me their name to use as a referral.
A portion of my table at the gallery crawl.

Throughout it all, people constantly have been referring to me as an artist. For me, this is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It holds so many different meanings depending on one's perspective and can be both complimentary and confrontational. This is the highest compliment anyone could pay me yet I'm always somewhat shocked and amazed when they do. My father is an artist - what most refer to as a "fine artist" and draws amazingly detailed pen and ink sketches & paints incredibly realistic paintings. I have always admired him and have grown up somewhat in awe of his talent and for a long time didn't feel I had artistic talent because mine isn't the same as his. I eventually discovered my talent and have been constantly stretching my creative wings and challenging myself since. Thanks for your continued reading and support as you travel on my creative journey with me.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Just a Steel Town Girl on a Saturday Night

While working on punching up my bio for some craft show applications, the song Maniac (from Flashdance) kept playing in my head, so I had to rework the lyrics to create a crafty version and hope my readers will appreciate it:

Just a steel town girl on a summer night
Looking for the craft of her life
In the real time world no one sees her at all
They all say she's crazy

Locking rhythms to the beat of her tools
Changing movement into her art
She has crafted into the danger zone
When the crafter becomes the craft.

She's a maniac on the floor
And she's crafting like she's never crafted before
She's a maniac maniac on the floor
And she's crafting like she's never crafted before

The original lyrics can be found here.

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